At Watches & Wonders Geneva this year, Hublot announced it had over thirty novelties being unveiled. These were mostly different colour or material combinations of existing models. One thing they didn’t mention was the brand-new model waiting on the sidelines. The Spirit of Big Bang model is an odd one in Hublot’s collection, you don’t see many people wearing them. That could be because they’re hard to get hold of, or it could be because their tonneau-shaped case resembles that of a Richard Mille watch.
Sang Bleu is a company which focuses on media projects and also with its tattoo parlours, the first of which opened in London in 2006, followed by Zürich in 2016 and Los Angeles in 2019. Founded by Maxime Plescia-Büchi, Sang Bleu is renowned for its unique typeface as well as its talent with permanent body ink. Sang Bleu has worked with Hublot for a number of years, and the newest collection shows that work is still going strong.
The tonneau-shaped case of the Spirit of Big Bang Sang Bleu is different to the regular Spirit of Big Bang, thanks to its geometrical lines and surfaces. In some photos, it has a lozenge shape moreso than the smooth barrel of a tonneau case. The case measures 42mm across but is 15.7mm thick, coming in titanium, black ceramic or King gold, King gold is Hublot’s proprietary blend of rose gold which doesn’t tarnish or fade over time. Hublot’s signature quick-change system for its straps is found here. The pusher to remove the strap is hidden quite well by the unique lines of the case. Water resistance is 100m.
The dial is another mix of classic watchmaking and unique Sang Bleu design, and it’s covered by a special crystal which is split into four sections as it arcs over the dial. I’m unsure how this will look in person, but I expect it doesn’t help legibility.
Making this harder to read is the unique layout of the dial. The hours and minutes are indicated by the large lozenge-shaped hand, blending in above that is an arrow-tipped hand which points to the chronograph seconds. At 3 O’clock is the chronograph minutes counter, which has a lozenge-shaped hand, as does the running seconds hand at 9 O’clock. There’s also a date window. Legibility is perhaps not the main focus of this watch, although I expect the black-on-black dial of the ceramic version to be the hardest to comprehend.
Powering this watch is the HUB4700 calibre, which Hublot describes as “the successor to the El Primero calibre”, it seems that skeletonisation and the introduction of silicone regulating components are the main changes here, as Hublot doesn’t list anything else as being different. The El Primero movement runs at 5Hz for a total of 50 hours.
The ceramic and titanium versions are limited to 200 examples each, and the King gold is limited to 100 examples. In titanium, the price is CHF26,900, rising to CHF28,900 in ceramic and CHF47,900 in King gold.